Safe Kids Kansas

Preventing Accidental Injury.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2011

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Safe Kids Kansas Offers Safety Tips for Severe Weather Awareness Week

Topeka, Kan. -- While the threat of severe weather in Kansas is year round, March 6-12 is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Kansas, and is a good opportunity to discuss the importance of emergency preparedness with your family. In 2009, the National Weather Service reported about 100 tornadoes statewide.

“Kansas experiences numerous high impact weather events, including blizzards, severe thunderstorms and floods,” said Cherie Sage, State Director for Safe Kids Kansas. “When severe weather strikes you often have only a few minutes to respond and seek shelter. It is essential for you and your family to be prepared in an emergency.”

Safe Kids Kansas recommends becoming familiar with the type of weather you may encounter, preparing an emergency disaster kit and practicing your emergency plan frequently with your entire family. An emergency disaster kit should contain:

Additional supplies and equipment may be necessary for family members with disabilities or medical conditions and pets, including collars, leashes and crates. Families should also designate an out-of-state friend or family member as their family contact in case weather strikes while your family members are apart.

“Each family member should know the phone number of the emergency contact person and call to alert them they are safe and where they are going to be,” explained Sage. “It is also important that each family member wear hard-soled shoes during a disaster in order to protect themselves from injury.”

Safe Kids Kansas reminds parents to develop an emergency plan for severe weather in advance, and practice the plan often with your children, just as you do for other emergencies, such as a house fire. Be sure to include scenarios when you are at home, work, school or outdoors.

Safe Kids Kansas also recommends that your family learn basic CPR first aid, and teach young children how to call 9-1-1. Severe weather can strike at any time with little or no notice. The best way to protect yourself and your family members is by being prepared in advance.

Learn more tips by visiting www.safekidskansas.org and on Facebook.

Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of over 70 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters cover Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Butler, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Ellis, Finney, Geary, Harvey, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Kiowa, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Mitchell, Montgomery, Pottawatomie, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Smith, Sumner, and Wilson counties, as well as the city of Emporia and the Metro Kansas City Area (Wyandotte county and several Missouri counties.) Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. The lead agency for Safe Kids Kansas is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.